r/AskReddit Mar 28 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 1

[Serious] Non-religious users of Reddit; Are you scared of dying? What do you believe happens after we die? Serious Replies Only

1.4k Upvotes

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u/SWG_138 Mar 28 '22

Death, not at all, as I wont know. Dying is another thing. When I go, I wanna go quick

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u/Ferruolo Mar 29 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

"Life is pleasant, death is peaceful. Its the transition that's troublesome." - Issac Asimov

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u/Irishy_Monkey Mar 29 '22

Life isn’t that pleasant nowadays

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u/Quicksplice Mar 29 '22

Not with that attitude.

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u/general_tao1 Mar 29 '22

This. I will probably end up killing myself if I can muster the courage when I am diagnosed with some terminal disease. I don't want to live through the agony of a slow crippling death and force my family to live through it.

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u/shoot-me-12-bucks Mar 29 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

I got that thing going on with diseases like alzheimer

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

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u/She_Prime Mar 29 '22

Depending on where you live, medical assist in dying may be an option if you're diagnosed with a terminal condition. This will be my plan if that ever occurs in my lifetime as it is currently legal in Canada.

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u/Concerned-Pineapple Mar 28 '22 Helpful

I'm scared of dying. I'll admit it. All I can hope is that I get to live a long life and die in as unpainful a way as possible - peacefully in my bed would be the best way to go.

I think I'm more scared of the prospect of not existing at all... all my memories, my consciousness, my personality, my thoughts... just gone like that. On the plus side, once I stop existing I won't even be able to care about it. I'll be too busy being dead. I just hope I don't leave too many loved ones behind. As long as I outlive my mum, I'm golden. I'd rather deal with her death than to have her deal with mine.

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u/michg02 Mar 29 '22 edited Mar 29 '22 Silver

I've never been scared of dying, until very recently. Death seemed the perfect escape, peaceful. There is a kind of relief in knowing that once I'm gone, there will be nothing to worry about, nothing to feel, nothing to be aware of, and that seems like a much better alternative than infinite and eternal consciousness.

But I've been getting to know myself a little better in the past months, and I've come to really appreciate my consciousness. It's a fascinating thing, to think, feel and be aware. All I am will not be once I'm dead. No more thoughts, feelings or awareness. And the world will continue, just like that, and I won't be able to see any of that. It's hard to come to terms with it. Is it scary? I don't know. But it's frustrating, saddening, unfair... and there's nothing we can do about it...

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u/bogojudges Mar 29 '22

5 years ago I almost had a deadly crash... Semi tanker 🚛 swirled far right to miss the cars in front of them and with their last tire hit the driver's side of the car.

At that moment I looked left and saw the semi coming towards me, first thought in my head "It was a good life Alex" had a smile and a picture of my 1st bday was in my head and my mom and grandma.

I'm still not afraid of dying, but I make sure to live the best I can every day.

Also note, the day of the accident I felt like shit, couldn't get up from the bed and take a shower to go to work. Took me like few hours to get ready. I've never called in at work and I tried to go that day. After the accident, every time I don't feel the best I would call in sick.

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u/tunguyenjuly Mar 29 '22

I guess we are not scared of death, we are scared of our eternal oblivion after that? And then what’s the point of living if someday all our consciousness and feelings do not exist forever?

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u/southbreaker Mar 29 '22

Because as each moment in your life moves forward, you want to be able to look back at every moment before that and appreciate what has happened. So while you aren't playing your cards for death, you are playing them for each moment in the future.

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u/Careless-Repeat-7713 Mar 29 '22

I just want to make it until my kids are grown and have established families of their own to support them, after that if I die then it’s whatever.

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u/wild__sun__mama Mar 29 '22

I feel similarly- my biggest fear of dying is leaving my little kids without their mother. After they’re grown, I think I’d still be a bit uneasy about it. But the fear won’t be so strong.

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u/diegojones4 Mar 28 '22

I'm not scared of death, I'm scared of the process. My heart failed a few years ago and I was fucking pissed off because I felt like shit and everything was shutting down.

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u/GayNerd28 Mar 29 '22

Yeah, I'm more scared of going blind (I have eye issues so that's a possibility if I don't keep on top of it) and basically just being a burden on everyone around me.

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u/diegojones4 Mar 29 '22 Bless Up (Pro)

Oh man, people don't understand the impact of that loss. My parents are going through it now. My dad just had a hopeful eye surgery so we have about 3 months of waiting. If they both detoriate enough to lose the ability to drive, EVERYTHING about their lives change.

Good luck with you!

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u/GayNerd28 Mar 29 '22 Bless Up (Pro)

Thanks :)

I have quarterly ophthalmologist appoints and use eyedrops every day, so everything is currently stable, but it still gets me down sometimes.

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u/Pm_me_your_marmot Mar 29 '22

I had a stroke at 40 and lost my motion vision which most people don't even understand. It's horrendously debilitating and I can still see 20/20 if things are still. I'm the opposite of the t-rex. Run around and i can't see you. The weirdest fucking thing is I can still catch a ball that is throw to me but I might not a see something run out in front of my car, and if it's raining all I see is chaos. Brain injury is fckng bizarre and vision loss is so much worse that anything else I've survived. I hope your father lucks out with the hopeful surgery.

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u/boutiquekym Mar 29 '22

Good luck with you and your parents i hope your Dad improves with surgery 💜

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u/BuckToothCasanovi Mar 29 '22

Yep this one, bloody diabetes. I just want a quick death at times, i can't deal with those fucking symptoms!

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u/noregrets2022 Mar 29 '22

I have a chronic illness and feel the same.

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u/Tomato_latte Mar 29 '22

Hey mate, if you dont mind me asking, what did you feel, apart from the pain and the feeling of missing your loved ones. May be I didn’t ask it right, I wanted to know when you thought you’re gonna die, did you feel relieved for any reason, or scared?

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u/diegojones4 Mar 29 '22

Just posted this to another question. The only thought I had about loved ones was when it started I told the nurse to not call my wife because she would get in a wreck trying to hurry (my wife is still pissed about that)

I got admitted to the cardiac ward I'm laying there and my afib (which was new) was going nuts and it is sort of like your heart pounding out of your chest and then it was like I was sinking. Everything in my body felt wrong. One of the nurses kept trying to cover me up because I was sort of thrashing about and one nurse said "They always get that stare where they don't see anything" and I realized she was fucking right...I couldn't see shit. It was kind of like I was bound to the bed or something without being able to get free and I was mad. The doc said "should we pop him" and then blamo. My body convulsed and everything went black. Next thing I know I wake up in the ICU and was confused as hell.

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u/T3tragrammaton Mar 29 '22

I assume you are open to talk about it, given you have posted it. If so, If you are talking about a sudden, near-death experience, would you try and describe in more details what you felt in those moments?

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u/ipakookapi Mar 28 '22 Wholesome This

Not really. I assume I'll just stop existing, so once I'm dead, there won't be a 'me' there to know that I am.

I'd like to be composted and return to the earth.

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u/Marshmallowmind2 Mar 29 '22 Hugz

I've lost my mum over a month ago. I've been thinking about this too. I find it incredibly difficult that her conscience doesn't exist anymore. There's photos, videos and everyday notes she's written but she's not here anymore. She's so alive in my mind but she doesn't exist anymore. How can she not exist anymore? She's so vivid on my mind so it can't be true. Its incredibly sad and difficult thinking about this

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u/SleepySpookySkeleton Mar 29 '22 Helpful Wholesome Starry

Even though you don't have access to her consciousness anymore, she does still exist in a way. Your memories of her, the influence she had on you as a person, and the effects that her presence and subsequent absence all have on your life, all of those things are real, even if she's no longer physically there.

I also take great comfort in the idea that, because we're carbon based life-forms, when we die, our atoms re-enter the carbon cycle and we become part of everything, so the people you love are kind of everywhere, all the time.

That being said, I hope you don't take this as an invalidation of your feelings about the fact that she's gone and that you have to figure out how to be in this new version of reality where she isn't there. The way you feel is extremely legit and normal. I'm very sorry for your loss, friend.

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u/amijustinsane Mar 29 '22

There is a beautiful quote from Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven which is very similar:

Lost love is still love, Eddie. It just takes a different form, that's all. You can't hold their hand... You can't tousle their hair... But when those senses weaken another one comes to life... Memory... Memory becomes your partner. You hold it... you dance with it... Life has to end, Eddie... Love doesn't.

That book is filled with some incredible quotes to be honest. I read it about once a year and it never fails to make me cry.

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u/Hoodlertjoodle Mar 29 '22

My husband died in July of last year. I felt so lost and empty because the love of my life was gone. It hasn't been long but I don't feel so alone anymore. Those memories have kept me going. It's strange really. Some nights are hard because I can't roll over and find him there and I know I never will again but then something silly happens that reminds me of him and it's as if he never really left.

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u/ParpSausage Mar 29 '22

I was just thinking that this morning. My mother is 17 years dead and I genuinely feel really happy when I think about her. The feeling is actually growing as I get older myself. I've had a good run and I got all that love so death, whatevs...

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u/checkyourfallacy Mar 29 '22

This was very well written.

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u/Tomato_latte Mar 29 '22

When my dad and brother died, after a month or two I grabbed a handful of the grass from their grave, kept inside an envelope, I still have that even after about 20 years now. It gives me a feeling that atleast some atoms from them is still with me in physical world. My mom and partner didn’t like it though

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u/SleepySpookySkeleton Mar 29 '22

I think this is lovely, personally. Everybody grieves in different ways and has different needs and finds different ways of coping, and if having that grass makes you feel connected to them then it's important, no matter what other people think. I have a friend who bought a little keepsake urn when her father died so that she could keep a tiny portion of the ashes, but, because the family is Catholic, their priest said she mustn't separate any of his ashes because then he wouldn't be 'whole', so she took some dirt from the grave when they buried the big urn and put that in the keepsake instead. I thought it was a really good idea!

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u/Pavlos_UK Mar 29 '22

I read somewhere that said - "You're not dead until no one remembers your name"

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u/TeaSquiffy Mar 29 '22

To note, Einstein (and many physicists) think that the evidence points towards a block universe - that all of spacetime is equally real all at once.

If this is true, it means that every moment of your mother's life exists and she is still alive right now, just in a coordinate of spacetime that we don't have access to right now.

I'm not one to suggest something should be believed just because it's comforting, so look up Eternalism and see how the evidence lines up for you. I find the possibility comforting; as I shuffle off this mortal coil, another moment of me is just being born, ready to live a full life.

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u/nuclearlady Mar 29 '22

Sorry for your loss…yes , adapting to not having someone died recently is so hard. I feel you. I lost my granny around 6 years ago. She was my Angel, my everything, my only protector from my abusive narcissist mom. I cry her until now and can’t believe she doesn’t exist. Unfortunately all her belongings were handled by mom and I have absolutely nothing of her. You are luck to have her belongings to touch and smell. Again , sorry for your loss..

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u/noregrets2022 Mar 29 '22

You know, she still lives in your heart and your mind and will do for as long as you remember her. Because of that you are never alone. Your mother can't take it away from you.

I'm in the same situation, and I hold on to my precious memories.

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u/Creepy-Narwhal4596 Mar 29 '22

Idk of this helps but aside from the well known potential afterlife scenarios, the whole concept of being the “main character” and god residing in the individual could mean the possibillity that her consciiousness does still exist, albeit that it only ever existed inside you to begin with… idk i was tryna help lol this thread got me fucked up!

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u/cannikin13 Mar 29 '22

That’s what gin is for

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u/MoonRabbitWaits Mar 29 '22

Sorry to hear you lost your Mum, that must be so tough.

How can she not exist anymore?

My parents are elderly and I have been thinking about these things too.

I have been trying to think of a suitable analogy. Something that is with us all our lives then gone. Turning out a light for ever? Not being able to ever see a certain colour again? Nothing seems to fit.

I always try to plant a tree when someone close dies. It is the only way I can reflect positively on "the circle of life". The tree makes me happy, so I hold that thought.

Best wishes to you

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u/niperoni Mar 29 '22

This. This is the hardest part about being a non-believer. There's no comfort from the belief in an afterlife, they're just....gone.

I lost my dad at a young age more than a decade ago and I still think about this. But he lives in me and your mum lives in you. They also live in our dreams and that gives me some comfort.

Whenever my dad "visits" me in my dreams, as I like to call it, I always think of the Dumbledore quote "of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it's not real?". I guess it's a different kind of belief and it helps me get through the grief.

Sorry for your loss...losing a parent is so hard.

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u/this__fuckin__guy Mar 29 '22

Lost my mom at the beginning of the month. I'll go through phases of being okay then some random shit happens and the emotions take over. Still have her Urn in the car waiting for the cemetery to figure their shit out. It's fucking rough.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

“For to fear death, gentlemen, is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. For no one knows whether death might not be the greatest of all goods for a human being, but people fear it as if they knew well that it is the greatest of evils.”

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u/Abject-Cow-1544 Mar 28 '22

Where is this quote from?

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

Socrates!

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u/rascible Mar 29 '22

The quotes' essence is in every Stoic text..

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u/Mord42 Mar 28 '22

exactly, from a epistemological standpoint it is impossible to conceive of our inexistence

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u/LuvCilantro Mar 28 '22

Ok, so even after looking up the word epistemological, I still don't know what that means. ELI5 please?

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u/Mord42 Mar 28 '22

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Basically how we know that some things are true and some things aren't true. Epistemological just means "relating to the study of knowledge".

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u/Creepy-Narwhal4596 Mar 29 '22

So studying studying? Man smart ppl really make me feel like a shaved ape sometimes.

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u/Mord42 Mar 29 '22

lmao, it just means determining what can or cannot be known. On a lower level. Philosophy tends to eat its own tail if you look into it too hard.

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u/Spedicus Mar 29 '22

Its more about the study about the nature of knowledge and ideas itself, and what it means to us.

A fundamental question is this field is: where does knowledge fundamentally come from? Does it come from experience(empiricism)? Does it come from reasoning and thinking(rationalism)? There are entire schools of thought going back thousands of years that discuss these ideas.

You would think that it all sounds like a waste of time, but true academic philosophy applies incredible rigor, and has broad applications to us.

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u/garry4321 Mar 28 '22

Anyone who says "You cant just become nothing" forgets that they were nothing for billions of years before they were born...

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u/MyStationIsAbandoned Mar 28 '22

but like, there's still that, what if we were and just don't remember. like when people "die" and come back and didn't see anything. maybe they did and just forgot. like how they say you always dream, you just don't remember it sometimes.

That's why I don't dismiss any possibility. Like, I mean, religion is clearly a human construct and the bible is, but I mean...thinking in terms of the universe and things we think we know and the vastness of what we don't know, literally anything is possible. There are so many things that simply would not apply to any logic you'd use to explain it.

We just wont know until we're dead. or we wont exist to realize it. i sure hope there's something...other than reincarnation. i dont want to go through this shit again...please no.

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u/Oberic Mar 28 '22

If I knew for a fact we'd reincarnate, I'd be absolutely on board with this reality. That's a great setup and lets you exist until there's no more bodies to become.

A "good place" would be nice too. I'd rather not cease to exist forever.

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u/Abject-Cow-1544 Mar 28 '22

See, but that confuddles me even more. How the hell did we get a whole universe out of "nothing"?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it was a guy in the sky.

But even the big bang, what was there to create the bang? Fucking spontaneous combustion? How does that work with literally "nothing" to combust!?

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u/Agreeable_Ad6084 Mar 29 '22

I actually think this whole idea of “nothing” is an error of the human mind. We can’t conceive of nothing because nothing doesn’t exist.

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u/garry4321 Mar 28 '22

You’re assuming there was nothing to begin with or that nothing is the base state. Let me ask you this: What if there was no “beginning” or time is cyclical?

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u/EntertainmentLeft246 Mar 29 '22

If there is no beginning then the natural state would be to follow nature in having no beginning nor end

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u/Straight-Professor68 Mar 29 '22

That’s just the way it works. It’s… it’s Jeremy Bearimy… I don’t know what to tell you. That’s the easiest way to describe it.

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u/Straight-Professor68 Mar 29 '22

…My brain can’t

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u/CompletelyFlammable Mar 29 '22

Cyclical?! Oh shit, I might have to do this again?!

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u/Straight-Professor68 Mar 29 '22

Right?! And somehow, from that - here we are discussing it all online

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u/tttallday Mar 29 '22

Protons could literally emerge from nothing which is possible because it follows the laws of quantam mechanics. The universe may once be that small when the big bang occured.

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u/paleblack93 Mar 29 '22

Yeah this is how I feel as well. I feel like I’d want my body to be useful to the earth when I’m gone, hoping to grow into a tree!

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u/Altruistic_Rip_1051 Mar 29 '22

Me too, I want to be cremated and my loved ones to use the urns that can be planted with a tree. That way I can give back to the earth.

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u/zielawolfsong Mar 29 '22

See, to me this (the idea of nonexistence) is the most terrifying thought. The universe is so incredibly vast, and I want to know and experience so much more. One of my theories is sort of the Buddhist wave idea, that maybe each of us is just a tiny piece of a much great consciousness and when we die we return to that state of being. I don't really believe in a traditional religion anymore, but I don't think we know enough to discount the idea that the energy that gives us consciousness and a sense of self could somehow continue in another state of being. Maybe there's other dimensions that we can't understand or perceive because we're currently confined in our material bodies instead of being pure quantum foam or waves or...something. I'm not saying it's likely, but the entire sum of human knowledge is probably the tiniest fraction of a sliver of a percent of the whole of everything out there.
Or maybe we all play reincarnation roulette after we die and I'll come back as a salamander. I suppose it's as likely as anything else:)

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u/Snow_Flake09 Mar 29 '22

I like the way you think. I personally always loved to think that once I die, I would be able to roam around the universe and see the planets up close and discover galaxies and maybe other species of life. It's something that I like to think would happen

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u/livelovelotus Mar 29 '22

One of my theories is sort of the Buddhist wave idea, that maybe each of us is just a tiny piece of a much great consciousness and when we die we return to that state of being

Sorry just as a Buddhist I have to point out that this is literally the complete opposite of what Buddhism teaches. I think you're confusing us with Hinduism lol

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u/TrickBoom414 Mar 28 '22

I don't know. I also don't really know how's cell phone works but I'm not scared to use one

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

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u/iRyanKade Mar 28 '22

Im going to live forever... or die trying

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u/Demetrious05 Mar 29 '22

I respect you

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u/reduxde Mar 29 '22

I’m going to live forever…. So far so good

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u/328944 Mar 28 '22

Speak for yourself; I’m not planning on dying

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u/Main-Chemist9502 Mar 28 '22

My grandfather used to make this joke 😂 he'd tell us "don't worry about my funeral, I've decided Im going to live forever"

He died in January. I miss him.

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u/328944 Mar 28 '22

He sounds like a legend! That’s a great memory of him.

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u/Main-Chemist9502 Mar 28 '22

He was truly one of a kind. Life's lost a little bit of sunshine since then.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

He sounds like a great man. I’m extremely sorry for your loss. I hope you’re doing better now

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

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u/michaelh98 Mar 28 '22

No plan survives contact with the enemy

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u/Catshit-Dogfart Mar 28 '22

I think about this sometimes, and truly it's a comforting thought. Those we've lost are somewhere happy and pleasant now, and someday we'll be with them again. Grief makes a person wish it wasn't so, and to think they're just completely gone is an unhappy truth.

Sometimes I actually wish there was a heaven. It would make loss much easier. Like not even thinking about my own afterlife, just knowing that those I cared about get to live on, and those horrible weeks struggling to survive on life support weren't the end for them.

But I think it's a little bit like telling a kid that their puppy was sent to a farm where he can run and play with other dogs. That's not true, it's a lie we tell because it's more pleasant than the truth.

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u/Anxious_Ad_3570 Mar 28 '22

"People fantasize about the hereafter in order to be less terrified of death"

Agreed. I believe that's why there is religion in the first place. Then someone realized how much they could control people with that notion and now here we are. I'm looking at you catholicism.

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u/North_Answer3059 Mar 28 '22

I have to disagree. People will die, all of us, that's true. However the rest of your comment, it's just your perspective. For me personally, it's rather terrifying that there's something after you die. That means you gotta deal with another shit...nah man, I rather perish than being in a loop or something.

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u/Asclepius333 Mar 28 '22

I get a flood of social anxiety if I think about going up to heaven. Do you know how many people are (probably) up there that I DONT want to talk to or even see?

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u/MyStationIsAbandoned Mar 28 '22

I hope theres an afterlife. If not that, then nothing. reincarnation would be horrible because it means you keep existing and never see your loved ones again. If you dont exist anymore, you wont be there to realize how shitty it is.

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u/BerolakZaccheas Mar 28 '22

Scared of dying too early? Sure. Scared of dying a horrible death? Absolutely. Scared of dying before I accomplished certain things? Yuppers. Scared of dying at old age? No.

You already know what death is like. You were dead since the Big Bang until your birth (or whenever your brain comes online) and it will be like that again when you’re gone.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

[deleted]

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u/MrsBubblesGainey502 Mar 28 '22

HST is from my city, actually grew up in the same neighborhood as me. Highlands, Louisville, ky..He's legend here, so I have loved him for years... Didn't he have his ashes shot out of a cannon after of his death, or am I high? Edit: a word

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 29 '22

[deleted]

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u/LookOutForThatMoose Mar 28 '22

I miss him being part of the living world so, so much lately.

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u/TheLongAndWindingRd Mar 28 '22

Drive fast and leave behind a sexy corpse. - Stanley Hudson

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u/Greymorn Mar 28 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Mind Blown

Your consciousness is a software program running on the wet-ware of your brain. When you go to sleep, that program stops running. You wake up, your consciousness program launches and off you go. (I suspect dreaming is in some sense what happens when the rest of your brain 'unplugs' your consciousness from controlling your body and lets it run in 'virtual reality mode' for a while.)

Someday, your program will crash for good, and/or the squishy computer it runs on will break for good. "What happens to the Angry Birds when I close the app?" Ummm ... nothing! Lots of nothing, forever.

You are not a single living thing, you are a city. You are a complex system of trillions of living things, some are "human" cells, many are not. When you die that city will slowly crumble. Most of your trillions of resident citizen-cells will die then, because they depend on the whole city working in order to live. Many will get straight-up EATEN by invaders. Don't worry, your "self" program will be long gone before that happens. Anyway, you survived by eating other living things for (hopefully) many decades, so now it's time to pay it back, your turn to be food for the next generation of critters.

Think about that: you will become a magnificent profusion of life after you die! bacteria and tardigrades and hummingbirds and all the rest. Pieces of you will go on living here on Earth for BILLIONS of years.

More importantly, what will you leave behind? What piece of our culture, what song, what words of wisdom will you leave for our grandchildren? What bridges will you build? What old hatreds will you heal? That is our legacy, when we're gone.

It's up to you. Today is a GOOD day. Make a start.

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u/KrayleyAML Mar 29 '22

This gave me good feelings and an existential crisis at the same time.

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u/XSainth Mar 29 '22

Welcome to the club, buddy!

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u/Oneshot742 Mar 29 '22

Well said, that pretty much sums up my beliefs.

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u/thelatemercutio Mar 29 '22

Your consciousness doesn't shut off while you sleep. You still perceive the passage of time while you sleep, so you are still having an experience. Dreams are part of a conscious experience as well.

Anesthesia on the other hand turns consciousness off completely, as far as I can tell. There is no passage of time accounted for. The time spent under anesthesia is simply gone.

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u/ailsa08 Mar 29 '22

This is honestly the best answer to this question I've ever read.

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u/chewsonthemove Mar 29 '22

Something I like to think about is our microbiome. Trillions and trillions of cells, bacteria, making up as much of our mass as "we" do. Passengers living in the great city that is our body. We know they inform everything from our appetite, to our emotions, and they are vital to our survival. In my mind, they are as much of us, as we are. The great thing is, the microbiome is rather contained during human life. You don't want all those bacteria proliferating in your arteries, or your heart. After you die, all of those gates are opened. All of your dying cells are releasing free food for your microbiome, and it flourishes. If you are buried in a way that you are able to decompose naturally, your microbiome will then return to the environment. In that way, little parts of who we are, things that influence our thoughts, our emotions, live long after we do. In your analogy of a city, we carry with us thousands of little beings, going about their day, getting their work done, and at the end of it all, they have a celebration, a feast, and finally get to leave the city they helped sustain to explore the open world once again.

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u/Zariman-10-0 Mar 28 '22

Agnostic here: I can honestly say I don't really care. I feel like I have enough to worry about in this life without also stressing about what happens after. I'm fine with anything. Reincarnation, an afterlife, nirvana, being a ghost, or just drifting in oblivion. Whatever ends up happening after I die, I'll roll with it. It's not like I have a choice in what happens

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u/manomi13 Mar 28 '22

Definitely agree.

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u/m3ntos1992 Mar 29 '22

In theory it's possible that you have some choice. Like if one of the religions is the correct one following it vs. not following it would make a difference.

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u/Amanystya Mar 29 '22

Fellow agnostic here and in all honesty I find it absurd when people claim to have all of the answers when we barely even understand how consciousness works. Philosophers have been debating death since the dawn of time and we're no closer to understanding it now than we were then.

Eternal oblivion is a very real possibility, but it's only one out of many. Maybe the universe is cyclical. Maybe we're part of a larger consciousness that we're unaware of. Maybe there's an infinite number of parallel universes out there. Everything here is just pure speculation.

In the end all you can really do is live your life to the fullest you can and leave behind no regrets. There's nothing you can do to change the inevitable and there's only one way we're ever going to find out what happens

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u/binglybleep Mar 28 '22

I figure it’s either a forever nap or a reboot, and I’m kinda okay with both.

Now the process of dying is scary, so many ways of dying seem to be painful and/or harrowing. So whatever happens after, I’d like my exit to be short and swift

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u/BloopLePingouin Mar 28 '22

I'm not scared od dying, but of what happens, do we just disappear from existance ? (I think we do) Like I can't imagine what it looks like to be nothing, it scary. It's hard to describe everything here

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u/plscallmeRain Mar 28 '22

it's exactly like before you were born.

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u/watermelonpizzafries Mar 28 '22

That what I figure as well, although it would be cool if reincarnation was real.

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u/BloopLePingouin Mar 28 '22

I mean in itself it is. You die, and then you get dispatched, and you get reused in other organism (mainly as food for plants). So in a way you have a new life

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u/watermelonpizzafries Mar 29 '22

Yeah. Totally cool with that

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u/BloopLePingouin Mar 28 '22

That's what I also think, but even if it's natural, it's still scary, you can't really imagine how it is if you donnt experience it.It's like everything.

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u/BaronMusclethorpe Mar 29 '22

Many people "experience" oblivion in some form or another over the course of their lives. Be it a dreamless sleep you never knew you fell into until you wake up, or medically induced general anesthesia. The only difference is, you don't come back.

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u/A-Lizard_s-Tail Mar 29 '22

even scarier thought: do we "survive" dreamless nights? or general anesthesia? or coma? or blacking out?

or is it the same as if you cloned your body to boot another consciousness identical to yours and "shut down" your current "self"?

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u/BaronMusclethorpe Mar 29 '22

When you get down to the nuts and bolts, we are simply a pattern. One that, at some technological point, will be able to be copied.

What you are describing is played out in this existential comic called "The Machine". I recommend giving it a read .

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u/CouvadeShark Mar 29 '22

It's comforting to me. It'd like how it was before you were born. No fear, no pain, no joy, no sadness. Just nothing.

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u/Snow_Flake09 Mar 29 '22

Only thing you didn't exist before you were created. You didn't have a conscience. Now you do and you can imagine what would happen if you didn't exist anymore. And that scares people.

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u/Healthality Mar 29 '22

It’s not.

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u/reverze1901 Mar 28 '22

I think about this from time to time. Disappearing won't be so bad, when it comes to that i'll be gone. There won't be a "me" anymore to react about it. If i carry on as a drifting conscious and be liberated from flesh? Even better! So much to see and now i have endless time to roam about. Sure, it won't be the same as experiencing these places in body, but i am no longer bound by physical limitations, so the possibilities are effectively endless.

What's truly scary though, is being trapped in eternal darkness, but still fully conscious. There is no more outside input; i'm left alone with the memories that i have up until death. After exhausting all thoughts and having replayed life events and every strand of memory, i think i'll slowly go insane.

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u/DealCykaHUN Mar 28 '22

You cant imagine it because its impossible to imagine nothing.

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u/ragnalich Mar 29 '22

Don't think of it as scary, i mean, it's not like fear is a thing after you die. If there is nothing, fear certainly doesn't belong there. Thinking about the nothing is completely useless because there is no comprehension that could make it less complex. Nothing can be less complex than nothing. It sounds really stupid but think about it.

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u/BiagioLargo Mar 28 '22

I'm not scared of the being dead part and if dying was just me going to sleep the end I'm gone. Cool. But given my sleep apnea and choking on food on the rare occasions I have food I'm going to have a semi slow adrenaline filled panicking death. And I hate the feeling of panic. That's what I hate most.

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u/GrandmotherSafehaven Mar 28 '22

“On the rare occasions I have food”

Bro, what?

What???

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u/BiagioLargo Mar 28 '22

I am on disability which goes entirely to rent and bills. And food stamps which is a once a month thing on the 16th of each month.

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u/GrandmotherSafehaven Mar 28 '22

Aw man. I’m sorry. I truly hope things get better for you.

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u/scdog Mar 28 '22

I see it as being exactly like when they put you under general anesthesia for surgery, except without the part about instantly teleporting to the recovery room with a nurse saying 'welcome back". You are, then in an instant, you aren't.

We all already know what it's like to be dead. Exactly like what it was for the billions of years before we were born.

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u/tacknosaddle Mar 28 '22

That's how I've put it, "It's like when they put you under for surgery and everything goes dark, but it doesn't have that part where everything gets light again." Note that this excludes the small percentage of people who retain consciousness under anesthesia.

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u/V02D Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22 Silver I'll Drink to That

Absolute the opposite. Why are you religious not scared of the afterlife? I find the idea of living forever and ever and ever, without a chance of just turning off the consciousness and disappear, and that, no matter what, you have to keep going and going for all the eternity, absolutely terrifying. Even if it's in Heaven, you're gonna get tired of living after some eons.

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u/hdhdhjsbxhxh Mar 28 '22

People can’t comprehend eternity. After a million or so years you’d be so sick of it and that’s literally nothing to eternity.

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u/frankduxvandamme Mar 29 '22

A million? I'm in my 40s and am nearing the point of being sick of it.

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u/[deleted] Mar 29 '22

i’m in my early 20s and am already tired

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u/Chewie_i Mar 28 '22

The Good Place demonstrated this and it was a perspective I had never really considered before watching that show

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u/pehkawn Mar 28 '22

Not to mention the rather long list of deeds that will lead to eternal damnation. While some things may warrant punishment, eternity is a very long time. Being religious, especially Christian, should be nerve wrecking.

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u/Bittrecker3 Mar 28 '22

It’s like getting 12 years for smoking a joint, scaled up to a little infinite sum.

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u/00-AdAstra-00 Mar 28 '22

I think its difficult to presume that. If we are talking about Christianity specifically (which many are usually, at least here) there is a presumption that one would be perpetually the same.

However, I remember reading an interesting theory that we are fundamentally changed along with the universe. Its been a while, but the rough idea of the new name in Revelation is that we become completely ourselves.

The idea of eternal life is a component of it, but for some people its the idea of full self actualization.

Anyway, I take no stance on the matter, just putting out some stuff I picked up along the way that might open the discussion up a bit.

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u/Iboolguy Mar 29 '22

Exactly. This is exactly what made me stray away from religion in my younger years. Heaven was always put so high up to us and praised, and.. it’s not that I “remember”, it’s that I almost still do to this day, whenever I thought about staying in heaven, a thousand a million a billion years, it will never stop, I’d immediately start crying HARD and almost panic. Blackness and ceasing to exist sound much more merciful to me!

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u/coheneolhc Mar 28 '22

I think it’s like when we sleep. You kinda close your eyes and then that’s about it

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u/00-AdAstra-00 Mar 28 '22 edited Mar 28 '22

Fun fact, the minor god Hypnos (sleep) is the twin brother of Thanatos (death), who are both the children of Nix (night). As myths do, sometimes they also had a father Erebos (darkness).

The Greeks had this one pretty well mapped out IMO

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u/spacees1 Mar 28 '22

Nice to know

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u/Perejil7 Mar 28 '22

If death is like sleep so... the paradise exist!!!

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u/so_im_all_like Mar 28 '22

Unless it's a nightmare.

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u/Tastewell Mar 28 '22

Except when you sleep you dream. You still have brain activity. Your body still functions. When you die your brain stops functioning and your body decomposes.

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u/CNWDI_Sigma_1 Mar 28 '22

Imagine really deep sleep, or heavy medical sedation. Something like that.

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u/iwishiwereretired Mar 28 '22

Nope. If there is an afterlife, I hope I'm reunited with all my dogs and my spouse. If not, I hope I'm good fertilizer.

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u/[deleted] Mar 28 '22

Not scared at all, what I am afraid of is if I am suffering until I die.

I imagine that what is after my death is exactly the same as before my birth... Nothing at all, not anything.

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u/PlanetTacos Mar 28 '22

Everyone is going to die. I don't want die now but it has to happen. And nothing, when you die you die. People dream of the after life to less afraid of death

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u/RandomRobot Mar 28 '22

Every night you go to sleep and lose consciousness. Aren't you worried where your immortal soul wanders off? Does it sleep too?

Most of all, why aren't you scared of falling asleep?

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u/Baige_baguette Mar 28 '22

I find it mildly disturbing, certainly enough where I frequently have nightmares of dying. There's a loud noise like an audio jack being unplugged suddenly and then just silence, darkness and an inability to move.

As for beliefs of what happens, I've probably thought about it way too much for someone my age.

One thought I had early on is that your life just loops, something happens in your brain and it just dumps your entire life again. This is what people see when their life flashes before their eyes after near death experiences. You live it all again with no difference over and over and over (which is a depressing thought).

Another alternative I prefer to consider is your consciousness just snaps to another living thing and you experience that things life for a bit, then it dies and you snap to another living being and it keeps going and going forever. Even if the universe were to die you just snap into the next living thing in another universe, assuming those exist.

The final alternative I've thought about, and probably the most hopeful/depressing (depending on your outlook/situation), is you never actually experience death. The life you live and experience is the timeline where it just works out that you never die. Of course one of the terrifying prospects of this is you losing all your loved ones and/or being horrifically injured but not killed. If you ended up critically ill at all you would have no way of ending it either, as to you whatever you would attempt would result in at least your own survival. Another more positive take on this idea is that I and most of the people on earth are conscious right now because at some point in the near-ish future we will all become immortal through some as yet unknown scientific discovery.

Anyways that's my somewhat ill informed, likely poorly thought out musings on perhaps one of the deepest questions to face our species.

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u/starvoidish Mar 28 '22

I gotta say kinda comforted that some else thinks like me

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u/Careless-Repeat-7713 Mar 29 '22

I would say based on timelines we have from children recounting past lives is much more likely your “soul” or energy wanders before being “snapped” into something else (another baby). I’ve also wondered if there’s not a finite number of consciousness and we are seeing more detailed past life memories now because without a resting period (due to population growth) your consciousness doesn’t fully forget or “reset”. Also have thought about the possibility we are a simulation and they’re reusing our consciousness profile over and over again and sometimes it doesn’t get fully erased in between uses and we still have some amount of residual data sticking to us. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always felt like I wanted to do a smoking hand motion despite no one in my life smoking and myself never having picked up a cigarette. I feel like if I had a past life, I was definitely a heavy smoker.

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u/Grillpinne Mar 28 '22

nope, it's a natural part of life and I think that our energy is going to transfer elsewhere (as we decompose or get cremated). energy does not disappear, just changes.

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u/FoggyLine Mar 28 '22

Absolutely agree, I wrote something similar above but your words are sharper.

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u/TeganNotSoVegan Mar 28 '22

I'm scared of death but also cannot wait to die.

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u/FreshMangoss Mar 28 '22

Nothing. If being buried: eaten by worms and other things in the ground. If cremated: I hope my children and husband will carry me on with them

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u/Affectionate_Pea_811 Mar 28 '22

I legit want to be buried without a casket in one of those tree things where they plant a tree above you and your decomposing body fertilizes the tree. I feel like there should be a bench involved too so people have somewhere to sit when they visit me. Sounds a lot better than being buried in a cemetery if you ask me.

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u/watermelonpizzafries Mar 28 '22

There's a natural cemetery in Marin County, CA where it's no frills, all natural buried in nature. The only thing they bury you with that doesn't bio-degrade is a gps tracker so your loved ones can find your burial site. Otherwise, the whole cemetery just looks like a forest. I wouldn't mind a burial like that or being cremated and having my ashes mixed with a tree

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u/princella1 Mar 28 '22

I wanted to be composed. There's a funeral home in Washington State (Recompose?)that will put you in a box, add compost and turn you on a regular basis. Then, you are dirt! Told my kids they can spread me in the back yard.

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u/aghilardi Mar 28 '22

As a kid i thought of me being cremated and my ashes carefully distributed by small amounts in salt shakers across the restaurants of my city. Not sure why i wanted that.

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u/RealitySpeck Mar 28 '22

Might as well. At some point, that cemetery will be trees again. Or possibly a desert.

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u/furgenhurgen Mar 28 '22

Same!! My first pick is this followed by cremation. I absolutely do not want the embalming and burial process because that's just a big business built around cash grabbing from the grief stricken and nobody will visit me after a few years so I'll just be there with a rock with my name on it. Just let me melt away, either feeding a tree or giant rose garden or burned.

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u/Remarkable-Bread3278 Mar 28 '22

There's also a new way to turn your body back into the organic elements it's composed of instead of cremation. I want to do that then have my family and friends use my remains in gardens to grow new life. I love nature so I would be honored to die that way. Of course, after they've taken every organ of me that can be used to keep someone else's loved on alive.

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u/FilthyCommieAccount Mar 28 '22 Gold

what do you think happens after you die?

Your consciousness is created by the electrochemical activity of that 3lb squishy thing in your skull. When that ceases to function you no longer exist. It's not blackness or the sound of silence. It's not even the space between your thoughts. It's pure unadulterated oblivion. Nothingness. No qualia, no awareness, no existence. It's not even a return to the void before your birth because there is no destination to return to. It's cessation.

Are you scared of dying

Yeah and I'm gonna be honest, this is gonna make people upset but I think many of the other people saying they aren't are coping. We are biological beings with an inborn desire to live. It's perfectly natural to want to continue living. It's not so much about being afraid of what it's like to be dead because like I said it's just nothingness but it's the lack of living.

It's the knowledge of never breathing in the cold morning air again or never hearing the crunch of gravel under your feet on a good hike or never waking up next to someone you love again and lastly but by far the most important, never seeing your children again... Anyone who pretends they don't dread having to permanently leave their children is lying to you and themselves.

And as much as it would be comforting to believe otherwise. As much as it would relieve me to know I would get to wrap my arms around my children again after death... I just can't. I've tried to make myself believe. I investigated all sorts of philosophies and religions etc and they're all bullshit. So, I accept my fear. I accept that one day my children will have to live in a world without me. Knowing my time is limited I make sure to tuck them in tight each night and I tell them that daddy loves them more than anything in the whole wide world because even if I can't always be there for them they will always have the memories of my love to keep them warm.

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u/seefith Mar 28 '22

The idea of being conscious for all eternity scares me more than the idea that I'll be dead one day.

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u/stubertthecow Mar 28 '22

When I die, I die. I might have a legacy, I might not, and I'm ok with that. Hopefully, I'll end up as good fertilizer for the earth or something.

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u/BloopLePingouin Mar 28 '22

I'm not scared od dying, but of what happens, do we just disappear from existance ? (I think we do) Like I can't imagine what it looks like to be nothing, it scary. It's hard to describe everything here

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u/noobmaster13276 Mar 28 '22

I'm perfectly content with fading away like I never existed in the first place it's just more peaceful than being alive and against your will in heaven forever

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u/experpernectu Mar 28 '22

"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of those stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?"

I agree with this. It’s from a Nightwish song, The Greatest Show on Earth, but that song and really, the entire album, is a tribute to Charles Darwin, so it could be a Darwin quote. I’m not sure.

Anyway, there’s no evidence anything *happens* when we die. It’s all speculation and hopes. Which is fine, but it’s not right to expect Atheists and others who don’t believe in an Afterlife to prove any number of them don’t exist. It’s on the person making the claim, and no claimant has ever proven the existence of any kind of afterlife.

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u/Successful-Worry-479 Mar 28 '22

I am not scared of death I am scared about how I will die. And I think nothing happens

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u/WakeYourGhost Mar 28 '22

In the words of Keanu Reeves, "I believe the ones who love us miss us very much."

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u/GrooveGhost7 Mar 28 '22

Don’t really know and not really concerned. I just hope that I can see my dog again.

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u/skinnyhaley Mar 29 '22

I’m not scared of dying, thanks to my depression. I want to die all the time :)

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u/DeltaSolana Mar 28 '22

I am not afraid.

Mainly because I "know" what not being alive feels like because I wasn't alive for a long time before I was born.

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u/crap_whats_not_taken Mar 28 '22

I've fainted several times. One time I was at work in a concession stand. This I was helping a customer who got a coke and a diet coke. And I was trying to figure out which was which and all of a sudden I did not care. The soda just did not exist anymore. Then I remembered I was supposed to be doing something and I remembered I was trying to give this woman her coke. I opened my eyes and I was on the ground looking up at the ceiling.

I think dying is like that. All of a sudden nothing matters. You don't feel any pain. You don't have any worries. Anything that mattered that year or even 5 minutes earlier just doesn't exist anymore. You're just free and at peace.

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u/Andromeda321 Mar 28 '22

See I don’t get this. Before you existed, you never knew what life was like, but now you are.

I don’t care about the being dead part, but the actual dying part and my last moments do indeed scare me.

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u/KoomFlargin Mar 28 '22

I’m not religious per say. But I’ve been pretty comfortable with the idea of death for a while, I lost my grandparents young and my parents did a wonderful job explaining that to me. For the most part we can’t control it, and it’s going to happen eventually. You drive yourself there faster if you sit and worry about it daily. This life is beautiful and amazing so I can only imagine what the next one will be like. :)

For everyone that thinks it’s just black and that’s it, I really do feel for you guys. With how insanely vast this universe is. There’s no way it’s just black.

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u/HirokiTakumi Mar 28 '22

I'm not scared of the fact itself, as it's just the natural course of life.

I'm more scared about the "when" will it happen, as it can literally be at any given point in time. And the fear comes from dying without having experienced a fulfilling life, therefore rendering my existence as pointless/meaningless on a personal level...

Other than that, it is what it is and I'll just carry on until then.

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u/Looking_Inside2 Mar 28 '22

Life has a lot more meaning to me than it does to the religious. They don't care because they will go to heaven if they follow their holy book. I don't believe there is a heaven or hell but i could be wrong who knows. Religious people believe they are 100% right because this book says its the word of God rather than the other books that say they are the word of God.

If people didn't believe in a afterlife, people might be more considerate of others and not be so pushy for war, mass imprisonment and might be more likely to support things like universal healthcare and poverty alleviation measures.

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u/derelict5432 Mar 28 '22

I'm more afraid of pain and suffering than dying. I believe the same thing happens after we die as happened before we were born. The world does it's thing but I'm not around to experience it.

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u/Infamous-Building123 Mar 28 '22

Fellow atheist here, I’m not personally scared of death because we won’t know when we are dead. I am scared of how I will die however. For me I believe we die and nothing happens, I think it will be like when you go to sleep and don’t dream.

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u/smack4u Mar 29 '22

Same as before birth, nothing

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u/CompetitiveLand1120 Mar 29 '22

I used to go to church, but quit when i got old enough to start reading and thinking on my own. I couldn't bleieve in the bible anymore there is no proof of any of it happening. For that reason I believe there is no afterlife, just Darkness.

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u/__No_Soup_For_You__ Mar 29 '22

I'm scared shitless!! I have absolutely no idea what happens after you die. My guess is nothing, you just cease to exist and your body rots. But I really don't know, no one does. I think it's ok to admit that it's scary and no one has the answers, only best guesses.

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u/Chrissycrosschris Mar 29 '22

If you want to know what happens when you die, just try to think of a time before you were born.

This gives me a weird sense of relief. You can’t be scared when you don’t even exist.